HEAL! is a poetry book written from the perspective of a survivor of assault. It is an offering to anyone who has survived violence; an expression of solidarity, honouring the life and energy necessary to heal. It is harrowing at times, it laughs at its own pain and the people who caused it. Withdrawal, disassociation, and rage offer relief, but the narrator finds she is seeking more - uncompromising tenderness and deeper understanding of herself than she thought would ever be possible. HEAL! reminds you that to heal is not to fix, but to feel comfortable in the darkness. Offering perspectives on sexual trauma, colonialism, patriarchy: it is an important book from a Tongan wāhine who refuses to be silent.
Simone Kaho is a Tongan and Pākehā poet, creative non-fiction writer, and director. Her first poetry collection Lucky Punch was published in 2016. She has a master’s degree in poetry from Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington's International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) and was awarded the IIML 2022 Emerging Pasifika writer in residence. Simone directed the 2019 web series ‘Conversations’ for E-Tangata and now works as a writer/director for Tagata Pasifika. She is an active voice in Alison Mau's #metooNZ project.
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